Saturday, November 12, 2011

iPhone 5.0.1 Update Wi-Fi Settings, General, Software Upate

Update your iPhone to 5.0.1 by wi-fi, easiest iPhone update ever. Why did it take so long to make it this easy? Make sure you synch or backup first.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Siri Can't Connect to the Network Fix - Reset All Settings, iPhone 4S

After using Siri on my iPhone 4 all day, I received the Siri error message that it can't connect to the network. Meanwhile, all the other iPhone 4S users that I was having dinner with were abe to use Siri. After trying to hard reset my phone, turn Siri off and reset my network setting, I finally found a way to get Siri working. Here it is:

1. Tap Settings, General, Reset, Reset All Settings. Note, no data or media will be deleted.

2. After the phone resets the original factory or default settings, you will be asked to setup your phone including Location Setting, Wi-Fi, Siri as well as accept the License Agreement Terms.

I did notice when Siri started working that the Siri screen with all the options briefly flashed. This might have caused my iPhone 4s to lock up when The Siri program crashed.

Good luck!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Just Installed iOS 5 on my iPad

Just finished installing iOS 5 on my iPad. Had to re-visit the Apple site to find some of the new features: Many new features
1) Safari has tabbed interface;
2) Camera uses side button;
3) Wizard like interface for setup;
4) Photo Stream auto uploads new photos to iCloud, downloads to all devices;
5) Newsstand feature allows you to download magazines.
6) New Messages, includes a Send Read Receipts setting (default off). A new Messages App was installed on my last iPad screen.
7) New Reminders feature. A new Reminders App was installed on my last iPad screen.
8) The new native Twitter App was installed over my previous one. It supports multiple Twitter accounts.
9) There is a Split Keyboard, but couldn't figure out how to get it to work.

A great lineup of features!

You should use your Mac or PC log-in to to check out iCloud.

I didn't lose any data during upgrade but it took 2-3 hours including backup time.

Apple iOS 5 Features

New iOS 5 Software Update

iOS 5 Software Update

This update contains over 200 new features, including the following:

• Notifications
◦ Swipe from the top of any screen to view notifications in one place with Notification Center
◦ New notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen
◦ View notifications from lock screen
◦ Slide the notification app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app
• iMessage
◦ Send and receive unlimited text, photo, and video messages with other iOS 5 users
◦ Track messages with delivery and read receipts
◦ Group messaging and secure encryption
◦ Works over cellular network and Wi-Fi*
• Newsstand
◦ Automatically organizes magazine and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen
◦ Displays the cover of the latest issue
◦ Background downloads of new issues
• Reminders for managing to do lists
◦ Syncs with iCloud, iCal and Outlook
◦ Location-based reminders when you leave or arrive at a location for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
• Built-in support for Twitter
◦ Sign-in once in Settings and tweet directly from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari and YouTube
◦ Add location to any tweet
◦ View twitter profile pictures and usernames in Contacts
• Camera improvements for devices with cameras
◦ Double click the home button when device is asleep to bring up a camera shortcut on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
◦ Volume Up button to take a picture
◦ Optional grid lines to line up shots
◦ Pinch to zoom in the preview screen
◦ Swipe to camera roll from preview screen
◦ Tap and hold to lock focus and exposure, iPad 2 and iPod touch (4th generation) only support exposure lock
• Photo improvements for devices with cameras
◦ Crop and rotate
◦ Red eye removal
◦ One tap enhance
◦ Organize photos into albums
• Mail improvements
◦ Format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts
◦ Indentation control
◦ Drag to rearrange names in address fields
◦ Flag messages
◦ Mass mark messages as flagged, read or unread
◦ Customize mail alert sounds
• Calendar improvements
◦ Year view on iPad and new Week view for iPhone and iPod touch
◦ Tap to create an event
◦ View and add event attachments
• Game Center improvements
◦ Use personal photos for your Game Center account
◦ Compare your overall achievement scores with your friends
◦ Find new Game Center friends with friend recommendations and friends of friends
◦ Discover new games with custom game recommendations
• AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S
• Multitasking Gestures for iPad
◦ Use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen
◦ Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar
◦ Swipe left or right to switch between apps
• On-device setup, activation and configuration with Setup Assistant
• Software updates available over the air without tethering
• iCloud support
◦ iTunes in the Cloud
◦ Photo Stream
◦ Documents in the Cloud
◦ Apps and Books automatic download and purchase history
◦ Backup
◦ Contacts, Calendar, and Mail
◦ Find My iPhone
• Redesigned Music app for iPad
• Hourly weather forecast
• Real-time stock quotes
• Wireless sync to iTunes
• Keyboard improvements
◦ Split keyboard for iPad
◦ Improved autocorrection accuracy
◦ Improved Chinese and Japanese input
◦ New Emoji keyboard
◦ Personal dictionary for autocorrection
◦ Optionally create keyboard short cuts for frequently used words
• Accessibility improvements
◦ Option to light LED flash on incoming calls and alerts for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
◦ Custom vibration patterns for incoming calls on iPhone
◦ New interface for using iOS with mobility-impairment input devices
◦ Option to speak a selection of text
◦ Custom element labeling for VoiceOver
• Exchange ActiveSync improvements
◦ Wirelessly sync tasks
◦ Mark messages as flagged, read or unread
◦ Improved offline support
◦ Save a new contact from a GAL service
• More than 1,500 new developer APIs
• Bug fixes

Products compatible with this software update:
• iPhone 4S
• iPhone 4
• iPhone 3GS
• iPad 2
• iPad
• iPod touch (4th generation)
• iPod touch (3rd generation)

* Normal carrier data rates may apply. Messages will be sent as SMS when iMessage is unavailable, carrier messaging fees apply.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why is my iPhone 4S still in Anchorage, Alaska?

So less than 24 hours to go, all of my family member's iPhone 4S Shipping Notifications have their phones in Miami except me. Mine shows it has left China but is still in Anchorage, Alaska. I will sure be disappointed if it doesn't arrive tomorrow. My family members enjoy asking me where my iPhone is!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ordering the iPhone 4S - Deja Vu - Felt like June 2007

At 3 AM Eastern Time, 12 PM Pacific Time, I awoke to find our Family IT Dept trying to pre-order the new iPhone 4S phones. As loyal purchasers of the very first iPhones back in 2007, this was perhaps a RIP Steve Jobs purchase more than the iPhone 5 Must Have Phone Upgrade. I walked in the Family Data Center and found 4 screens fired up, most with ATT website and Apple website error messages. Ouch, it felt like the June 2007 ATT Activation Debacle all over again.

When issues like this occur, there is rarely any word or update from the vendor so you have thousands of Early Adopter Apple and ATT Customers unable to pre-order their iPhone 4S. These are some of ATT's most sophisticated and powerful users - ATT Premier, Corporate and Business customers, many of them now resurrecting their Twitter accounts searching for information or venting their frustrations. Many of these customers are the ones that you see in the First or Business Class ticket lines at the airports; with their names on the boards at the Rental Car Agencies or the Special Check In Desks at the Hotels. But tonight, they are in the Apple iPhone 4S line or queue with the rest of the general population.

With Verizon and Sprint now offering competing services and rumors that only Verizon 4S orders were being processed, I noticed the tone in some of these outraged customers this morning using the S word ("Switch"). I would hope that ATT might eventually start to direct their resources at the L word ("Loyalty") and start to pamper their loyal customers. Being loyal to a company or brand should mean something as Netflix found out. I just simply don't understand why the service level ATT customers received this morning when ordering their new iPhone 4S shouldn't be similar to a visit to their Airlines Flight Club or a phone call with AMEX.

A little after 5 AM this morning after I had "given up" I heard some cheering from the family IT room. I fired up my iPad and looked in my mailbox and received the message: "Your iPhone has been reserved." Next, we'll see when our phones arrive next week!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Using Your iPhone and/or iPad Abroad

When traveling abroad to Europe or other countries, many of my friends always ask how do you enable your iPhone for Phone Calls, Text Messages and Internet Usage when traveling abroad so you don't end up with a phone bill more expensive than your plane ticket. Here is my plan this trip to Prague.

Phone Calls
When on vacation with my wife or "the W", I do not take incoming business phone calls to my iPhone. In Prague, that would be $2.29 per minute and $1.99 with the AT&T $5.99 per month International Plan reduces this rate (You can subscribe online and cancel when you return.) If I need to make a business call or phone family or friends, I will use Skype from my laptop or iPad in the Hotel Room. Skype now has an iPhone/iPad App so it is possible to use a Free Wi-fi connection from a Restaurant, Cafe or Hotel Lobby to call from my iPhone or iPad using my headphones. Skype rates for calls back to United States landlines are 2.3 cents per minute or just over $1.00 per hour so $25.00 in a Skype Account should give me 20+ hours of talk time which would be plenty. I can then use my iPhone for outgoing calls in an Emergency situation rather than walking around Europe without a cell phone.

Before Leaving the U.S.
- Add the AT&T International Plan to your account by calling AT&T International Care at 1-800-335-4685 or adding this service online.

- Go to your Skype Account and ensure you have enough money in your account. The last thing you will want to do is to try and add money to your Skype account from overseas.

- iPhone Settings - Make the settings changes on your iPhone to ensure you don't have huge Cellular Data charges.

Settings, General, Network, Data Roaming: Off (Turns data roaming off when abroad to avoid substantial charges when using email, web browsing and other data services.)

Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Fetch New Data:Manually

Google Voice - To signup for a Google voice, sign-in to your Google Gmail Account then go to

Right Before The Plane Takes Off

iPhone Usage Reset Statistics - Reset the iPhone Usage Statistics

Settings, General, Usage, Reset Statistics (This allowed me to track my Cellular Network Data Sent and Received).

Before I get on the plane, I will do is Forward my iPhone number to my Google Voice Account. Google Voice provides this really cool Voicemail Transcripts feature so if a caller leaves a voice message, a SMS message will automatically be sent to my iPhone. The transcription feature will make a "best efforts" attempt to provide a text message of the callers actual message. It's not extremely accurate but good enough.

SMS Messages
I would like to communicate with "The W" or my wife during our trip. To me, this is extremely important since she likes to shop and I'd rather not follow her in and out of each store since she will cover 1 or 2 shops for my 10-20. Although to keep her as the W, I need a way to contact her in the event we can't find each other or she want's my opinion on some item she wants to buy. I enabled the International Plan on both our phones, that will enable outgoing text messaging at $.50 per message. Incoming messages are covered by our Unlimited U.S. Plan. In the past in some smaller cities in Europe, I have found AT&T International SMS unreliable. Hopefully, AT&T SMS to AT&T SMS will work. This is huge if it works and while she is shopping, I can be taking pictures, sipping a cup of coffee or checking ESPN on my iPad.

Internet Connection
For this trip, I decided to subscribe to a 3G Internet Connection on my iPad 2 rather than my iPhone. Some of us in the United States are really spoiled having "Always On" or Unlimited Connectivity to the Internet 24/7. Having an Internet Connection when traveling is important if you need directions or want to check your email. I added this service directly from my iPad as follows:

Settings, View Account, Login Information (email/password), Add International Plan

At the screen below, select your plan. Remember, you will need the email and password you used to activate your iPad 3G Connection.

You can check your wireless phone bill to see your past data usage in the United States. My gut feeling is if you do graphics intensive searches like maps, you will eat through the bandwidth very quickly. You should frequently monitor your usage.

Before the Plane Takes Off
Settings, General, Usage, Reset Statistics
Settings, Cellular Data, Data Roaming: Off

After the Plane Lands
Settings, Cellular Data, Data Roaming: On (see if it works)
Settings, Cellular Data, Data Roaming: Off (AT&T recommends keeping it off if you don't need it)
Settings, General, Usage (frequently check your usage!)

*Note: if you don't have a 3G iPad, you can use your iPhone with the same general instructions above.

When Traveling
1. Frequently check your Data Roaming Usage: Settings, General, Usage. I received an email notifying me toward the end of my trip that I had less than 25MB remaining.

2. While Traveling in Prague, Czech Republic and then to Vienna Austria, my 3G Service kept switching between T-Mobile and Czech Wireless. Every so often, I would lose the connection completely. I knew something was wrong with my iPhone or iPad because sometimes one had service and the other one read: No Service. Toggling the Phone to Airplane Mode On/Off did not fix the problem. The only way to resolve it was to Hard Reset the Phone/Ipad: Home, Power.

3. The Skype Application worked perfectly from most Wi-Fi connections, especially the ones from the Internet Cafes that give you the password after you order your Latte. I found the Skype App on my iPhone much easier to use than the headset with my iPad.

Returning Home
1. Cancel your AT&T International Voice Plan. Remember to use the AT&T Wireless Online Interface to cancel all phones. You cancel the AT&T World Traveler Plan by selecting the Expanded International Roaming Plan.


Expanded International Roaming (Effective Date:) $0.00


AT&T® World Traveler(SM) (Effective Date:) $5.99

2. The iPad Data Roaming Plan is good for 30 days. You will not need to cancel it. It will not automatically renew. When you subscribe, you will receive an email letting you know this, if you take the time to read the details. Although, when I returned home, I did call AT&T International Customer Care, spoke to Reuben. He was not able to see that I had purchased an International Plan in his system. He said I had $2,000 in International Roaming fees. After I explained to him the emails I had received, he reluctantly agreed that I was correct. Apparently, it was not covered in his training.

Other Notes
1. In Prague, T-Mobile and Czech wireless were horrible, much worse than AT&T. At times, it felt like their Phones were turned off at night. If you absolutely need to talk on the phone to someone locally, I would bring an extra iPhone and get a Vodafone Simm card as suggested by a friend that lives in Prague. Unfortunately, I left my extra iPhones at home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Netflix Price Increase 60 Percent - What happed to Grandfathered Pricing?

Just when I started to love Netflix, it rewards its loyal customers with a 60 percent price increase. After eliminating competitor Blockbuster, Netflix now has a near monopoly on a DVDs by mail service and they don't even offer as many Recent Movies on DVD that Blockbuster does. It would have been nice to have grandfathered pricing, but apparently Netflix has never heard of that word. I personally am going to cancel my DVDs by mail subscription and will either see the newer movies in the theater, on the plane or wait for them to be released via Video on Demand (Amazon Video, iTunes, Comcast, U-Verse).

Netflix Price Increase, Netflix 60 percent

Friday, July 01, 2011

Computer Forensic Software - Casey Anthony Trial

While listening to the Casey Anthony Trial today, Law Enforcement used a variety of Computer Forensic Software tools. They looked at both the Search Engine Search Terms used and the list of websites Casey Anthony and her family used. These were done by looking at the Internet Browser Cache and deleted cache files. I was surprised at the power of these tools and noticed that some of them like the screen shot below contain a viewer for the web page searched. Here is the list of Computer Forensic Software that was used in this case.

Computer Forensic Software Used in the Casey Anthony Trial

Forensic Report
How to Ensure Your Browser Session is Not Saved

For those of you that are concerned about your own personal computers or public computers you may use when traveling, you should use the "private browsing" feature in the computer's browser to ensure your privacy. For each of the browsers below, below are instructions for this feature.

  • Firefox -- Click Tools, Start Private Browsing
  • Google Chrome -- Click File, New Incognito Window
  • Internet Explorer 8 -- Select Safety, InPrivate Browsing
  • Opera - New Private Tab
Be sure and remember to close your browser window which finished.

Finally, from listening to the trial, I didn't think Defense Attorney Jose Baez had a really clear understanding of how these Computer Browsers and their Forensic Tools worked. I believe Juror number 2 works in the IT field so Jose's attempt to sell the jury that browsing the domain isn't an indication of what website content was read (Choroform content does NOT change as frequently as Yahoo News) is incompetent and Juror number 2 will be certainly be able to explain this to other jury members.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Anthony Weiner Women - Weinergate Photos - Weiner List of Women

Anthony Weiner Nude Photo, Weinergate List of Women, Weinergate Women, Weiner Lewd Photo

When a high profile scandal such as the Anthony Weiner incident occurs, I am always curious how relevant the Google Search Results are. These are not the top Google search results for the relevant keyword searches but probably should be. Here are the links:

  • Anthony Weiner Photo -- Anthony Weiner Nude Photo (Alleged) -- This photo was originally posted to and has since been disabled. It is posted to .

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Why Doesn't AT&T 3G or SMS Messaging Work During the NBA Finals?

During the NBA Finals, some of my Bros have asked me why they can't send a AT&T SMS Message or use their AT&T 3G iPhone Apps during the game. They content that either something is wrong with their phone or AT&T or the American Airlines Arena in Miami is blocking services. Meanwhile, with over 20,000 fans in the American Airlines Arena, I see Verizon and other Non-AT&T Customers around me texting away.

Meanwhile, as soon as the game gets out and you are walking out of the Arena, you start receiving some of your SMS Messages. When you check your AT&T SMS Messages, you have a number of failed or un-sent messages.

The problem is that their are too many AT&T customers using iPhones trying to access their services. AT&T just doesn't have enough capacity to handle the thousands of fans trying to use their services simultaneously during the game, at halftime and timeouts. It appears that the technology is not there yet for AT&T to shift their resources during special events like the NBA Finals in Miami, Florida.

Loyal AT&T iPhone customers like me rightfully deserve better all around service for the prices we pay for both our phones and the related service. Having a Verizon phone as a backup isn't necessarily a "One Stop Shopping" solution.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mother of Arnold's Love Child - Mildred Baena - Patty Baena

It always surprises me how quickly the identity of the Mother of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Love Child has been identified by tabloids like, Star Magazine and -- within hours after the story broke. What is even more shocking is that people like Arnold's Mistress - Mildred Baena (Patty Baena, Patricia Baena) do not disable or delete their social media accounts such as Patty Baena's MySpace Account more quickly after stories like this hit the Internet. For now, here are the links to Mildred Baena or Arnold Schwazenegger's Maid's MySpace Photos. She needs to remove the photos of young son -- better yet "terminate" her MySpace account.....

Here are the links to the Mother of Arnold's Love Child's MySpace Account including the Photos.

Mildred Baena MySpace Account

Mildred Baena MySpace Account Photos

Friday, April 29, 2011

Where to Watch The Royal Wedding on

William and Kate Wedding - Where to Watch

I can't believe some people in my household are getting up at 5 a.m. Eastern Time to watch the Royal Wedding. Here's the link to the Royal Wedding Channel if anyone is looking for it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Upgrading from an iPad 1 to an iPad 2 (AT&T)

How to Upgrade from iPad 3G to iPad 2 3G (iPad 1 to iPad 2 Upgrade - AT&T)

Rather than stand in line on March 11, 2011, I ordered it online and finally received it in the mail almost three weeks later. Today, I finally got around to enabling it because I wasn't sure how I was going to transfer my data including my AT&T 3G Unlimited Plan.

It was actually relatively simple, here are the general steps I used.

1. Backup Your iPad 1 3G and install the latest upgrade. In my case, I had to upgrade my iPad 1 to 4.3.2 first. I used the following site's instructions. (Thanks Cory!)

(source: Maclife Cory Bohon)

2. After opening up my iPad 2 3G box, the first thing I noticed was that I really couldn't tell the difference between the iPad 1 and iPad 2. I had seen my daughter a few weeks ago and I knew it was smaller, but in the box I really couldn't tell. As I started to panic that they shipped the wrong one, I saw the camera lens in the upper right corner and started to get excited again. Unfortunately my iPad is a Mission Critical device and being down and having to find someone talk to at the "Rethink Possible" company with the Globe was not something I was interested in doing this evening.

The activation and data synchronization process went flawlessly. During this process, I had time to have dinner and check on it a few times. During this time, I found the following site below since I heard that AT&T has deprecated the Unlimited Data Plan for new customers but my iPad 1 3G account has been grandfathered (thank you AT&T!).

Here's the article I used to transfer my grandfathered AT&T 3G plan to the iPad 2.

How to Transfer iPad 1 AT&T Unlimited Data Plan to iPad 2


In general, I clicked on this link and took the replaced the old IMEI and ICCID numbers on this site. There appear to be several bugs on AT&T's site so I had to close and re-start my browser several times. I also ended up using both Safari and Firefox before I finally got it to work.

I also had to turn off Wireless and reboot my new iPad 2 before it finally the 3G service finally worked. But it did and I didn't have to call those AT&T "Rethink Possible" guys.

There were several items that I had to re-input on my new iPad 2:
  • iPad 2 password
  • iPad 2 wireless password
  • MobileMe password
Some things that didn't work very well:
  • My iPad icons that I so carefully arranged with the iPad 1 did not appear in all of my folders on the iPad 2.
  • Some of my iPad 2 icons disappeared such as my favorite iPad App that I had on the bottom of my screen. (I would recommend removing icons from the bottom of the screen before the upgrade).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

iPad 4.3 Home Sharing

The other new feature in iPad 4.3 is the capability to Share Music, Video and Podcasts from your Mac Computer to your iPad/iPhone/iTouch 4.3 devices. I enabled it as follows:

1) iTunes Home Sharing Settings under Advanced -> Turn On Home Sharing

I turned on Home Sharing on one of my Mac Computers by entering my iTunes user id and password.

2) iPad 4.3 Home Sharing Setting under iPod

I enabled Home Sharing my iPad by selecting settings -> iPod -> Home Sharing and entering my iTunes User ID and Password.

3) Using my iPad, I using the iPod Application, when I tapped on the Library, my Home Sharing for my Shared Library User Name's Library appeared. I could now play music on my iPad without copying the files over.

4) Using my iPad, the Video Application now displays the TV Shows and Music Videos Library from my computer.

iPad 4.3 - New iPad Side Switch Lock Rotation Setting

In General Settings, there is a new Lock Rotation setting that allows the user to set the funtionality of this switch that was changed to mute the audio with a previous update,

iPad 4.3 (8F190) - Just Updated To New iPad Software

I downloaded and installed the new iPad 4.3 this morning after downloading and installing the latest version of iTunes Version 10.2.1. The software and firmware update was successful. The majority of the time was downloading the software (40+ minutes). The installation replaced the existing version of the iPad Software and Firmware. The iPad 4.3 update went very quickly 20 minutes and did not require the re-transfer of the data.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My AT&T Landline and DSL Restored

Okay, the AT&T Repairman was just here. Apparently, the Saturday installer inadvertently broke my phone line cable. After a few minutes, the repair was done. My DSL is back, but still 25% slower.

I also heard that there is a new U-verse Internet only service. The U-verse signal is 10X faster than my DSL. According to he, the landline and U-verse can run on the same pair of wires.

My AT&T DSL Service downgraded from 4MB to .37 MB

After the U-verse installers were at my neighbors, here is what happened to my AT&T DSL. My 3G laptop card and 3G iPad are even faster than this.

AT&T Dispatch Manager Approves Fix for Sunday

As of Sunday 9:57 am I received a call from AT&T Customer Service that they will try and fix it on Sunday before 7 pm. Yes, they broke it and they should have a AT&T U-verse process to fix it in 12 hours or sooner, 24/7. Any Customer, especially our Senior Citizen Community in South Florida with its mission-critical life saving need for 911 Emergency Services rightfully deserves better service from AT&T when their landline fails.

Now the questions are: 1) will they send an installer out? 2) will he fix the landline 3) will my DSL speed be restored? 4) will it break my neighbor's new U-verse?

Does AT&T want to Deprecate my Residential Landline Service?

The launch of AT&T U-verse in a Region represents a serious challenge to AT&T Line Repairmen, finding a good pair of copper wire at the box to transmit 32 MB of AT&T Internet, AT&T Digital Television and AT&T Digital Voice is no easy task. These AT&T Repairmen have normally been with the company a very long time. I imagine they don't like contractor's messing with their box and the potential for conflicts are huge. 17 hours ago, my once very reliable AT&T Residential Voice landline line went down which gives it a not so stellar 95% uptime in 2011. I also discovered that the AT&T installers had been in my building all day Saturday installing U-verse for my neighbors. It appears to me that they took my good line that tested at 32 MB and gave it to my neighbor - maybe payback for placing a call to AT&T Executive Services earlier this week for the problems I encountered with their U-verse service and restoring my DSL line after the failed installation.

Without escalating this issue, my Regional AT&T Manager would have liked to restore my line 5 days from yesterday as standard operating procedures. After my escalation last night, I now have a Tuesday service restore date. But that's still not acceptable, I've had this AT&T landline a very long time and since that time added about every AT&T service. They broke it on Saturday, they should fix it on Sunday morning. With the increased sales of U-verse similar to AT&T iPhone sales, I would hope that AT&T would have planned for a new workflow to address service outages caused by their installers deploying new U-Verse customers. Unfortunately, that doesn't sound like it's the case!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Does AT&T U-verse make my AT&T landlines more unreliable?

During Hurricane Wilma in South Florida in October 2005, most South Florida residents lost electricity for almost a week or more. Those that had digital phones that didn't have generator were simply without phone service. For me, the most reliable or only piece of technology that worked was my AT&T POTS telephone line. In fact in past five years, I think the phone service has been up more than 99% or more. Since that time, I vowed never to move to a digital phone service.

For those living in South Florida, AT&T has recently expanded their U-verse offering as is blatantly obvious from the plethora of U-verse Television ads. Earlier this week, AT&T came to install U-verse to my residence. Unfortunately, because of my desire to keep my landline and not switch to the U-verse Digital Phone Service as well as some wiring in my building, they were not able to install it. In concept, it sounded great and I couldn't believe it when I saw 32MB Internet Speed on the Repairman's meter. AT&T U-verse uses one clean pair of twisted pair wires and if you want to keep your landline, they will need to find another clean pair in your walls, one for U-verse TV / U-verse Internet and the other for your landline. I was even more impressed when I found out that I could keep my AT&T DSL IP Address. In addition, I would have been even more excited to have them lay CAT5 wire through my house like they have been doing for some customers rather than use the existing coax cables.

Well, after aborting the U-verse installation, the not so cooperative AT&T installer kept telling me how he had to leave and call his manager. During the installation attempt, he kept reconfiguring the phone jacks in my residence and after many attempts he finally got my landlines working again. He left without fixing my DSL line and told me I had to call. I did and it took several calls to get it working again. Eventually, after a few more calls to AT&T, they sent a line repairmen who increased the speed of my DSL - I was back to being a loyal AT&T customer.

5 days later, after 4p.m. in the afternoon on a Saturday, I discovered that my landline was down and my Internet was 3X slower. When I checked around in my building, I found out that the AT&T Installation guys had been there all day installing U-verse for others in my building. Of course, it happens on a Saturday.....

Apparently, this experience is common for AT&T U-verse customers. After it is installed, their landline goes down but their Internet line and U-verse Television is up and running. You get the error message on your phone that the line is in use.

So I've seen some early adopter U-verse chatter that maybe the AT&T telephone installer might have done this on purpose because they want to deprecate my landline. They want me to use their U-verse Digital Phone Service. It appears that the "Extension in Use" is a common landline error message once U-verse is installed.

I've always been a loyal AT&T customer with iPhones, IPads, 3G laptop cards, DSL and my landline. Although I would like to see AT&T be kinder to their loyal customer though discounts, there have really few alternatives, especially with the iPhone. That was until the Verizon announcement this week and after my experience with my landline, maybe it is time to free myself from the AT&T Repairman.

Finally, I can only surmise from this experience that the expansion of AT&T U-verse will ultimately make its AT&T flagship landline service including it's 911 service less reliable. Maybe it's time to consider a another solution...

Do you think AT&T will have my landline running on Sunday? Do you think my AT&T repairman does Sundays?